Brent Bozell

You know there's desperation on the American Left when they start picketing news organizations like CNN. First the Democrats wouldn't carry their anti-war water. Now the media won't do their job and undermine the war effort? So the Loudmouth Left is doing what it does best: moan and scream, this time outside cable news studios.

This is very significant because the Left used to champion those everyday reporters as bravely independent heroes who would go around their allegedly conservative bosses with their plutocratic interests and speak the "truth," as defined by the Left. But now, the equation changes. The war is going well, too well, and the coverage apparently is too positive. So the Loudmouth Leftists are crowding the streets and demeaning CNN with Nazi epithets.

The only thing more pathetic than the lefty street theater of the absurd is the liberal breast-beating within the media as a result of it. Last week, CNN anchor Aaron Brown, the supposed top face of that old Ted Turner channel, devoted a half-hour of his day to the far-left Pacifica radio network, absorbing some old-fashioned socialist abuse on its program "Democracy Now."

The greatest complaint of the Pacifica hard-liners, and every other frenzied anti-war protester inside and outside the press is: Why don't we see more death? More gore? Apparently, most Americans are so stupid they have no idea that people actually die in wars. Apparently, the public sees American troops actually dropping bombs on abstractions, not enemy positions and human beings. Leftist Susan Sontag complained in the New York Times that being a spectator to "calamities" like the American war effort is the right and privilege of every citizen in this modern age.

Leading anti-war figures trotted out this mantra ad nauseam in the first Gulf War. Cranky CBS anchor emeritus Walter Cronkite demanded in 1991: "It ought to be almost compulsory [for Americans] to sit in front of the television set and have to view the horror that they're enduring. The military and the politicians don't like that kind of domestic exposure. If we start seeing, live, on the air, people dying in combat, it's going to have one terrible effect."

Read that last sentence again. Know this: People advocating live killing on television don't want it there for the sake of accurately reflecting the realities of war. Their agenda is purely political. They want it there to disgust people into opposing the war, to undermine American morale and short-circuit American victory. It's the same reason Phil Donahue favored showing the death penalty live on television: seeing it will supposedly make us oppose it.

If you have any doubts, ask yourselves this: If showing the "reality" is the proper course of action for those devoted to truth, why don't they apply that standard to the abortion debate? On that issue, these same liberals define graphic images of late-term abortions as the essence of bad taste. Pro-lifers are accused of wanting to create nightmares in the minds of our sleeping children, not make the world a less violent place.

Now some liberals are trying to suggest that crackpot Arab-news outlets like al-Jazeera are an important outlet for people who want blood-spattered "balance" in their media coverage. These America-hating "news" outlets based in tinhorn Arab tyrannies qualify as paragons of accurate journalism because they accuse America first, last and always.

What the Left doesn't want is context. Do we know who committed the civilian casualties? Can we automatically assume every wounded woman and child is America's fault? And if the misery pounding the Iraqi people is so newsworthy, why weren't Peter Jennings & Co. showing the atrocities of the Baathist regime before the war began, if "balance" was the goal?

Now if you want loaded al-Jazeera footage, Jennings will bring it to you. The ABC anchor was so happy about the propaganda channel's footage of the U.S. bombing that allegedly killed 18 Iraqi civilians near Mosul last week he used it twice, citing it on two successive evenings on "World News Tonight." That might put a little wrinkle in the claims of cranky leftists that we're all poisoned by hyper-patriotic news coverage.

This war again demonstrates the opinion gap -- no, canyon -- between the majority of Americans and the Left. The Left sees the media as their plaything, to mobilize the American public against the war by outraging them about the supposed atrocities committed in their name. But Americans aren't buying.

In short, Americans would rather be proud of America. They don't want indulgence of the eensy-weensy anti-war minority and their nattering nabobs of negativism at a time when victory is approaching fast.


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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